I have been at GITA Australia this week, with about 300 other people. There have been some absolutely outstanding presentations at this conference. Among them is a presentation by Jose Diacono and Danny Broadbent who are associated with the Victorian Spatial Council.
Sharing Data in the State of Victoria
At the last SSI Conference in Hobart, Tasmania, Tim Barker and Neale Hooper of the Queensland Treasury gave a presentation on their efforts to encourage the Government of Queensland to create a common data licensing framework based on Creative Commons licensing. I blogged about their presentation because I believe this is a critical issue that is facing most if not all government organizations who manage geospatial data.
The Victorian Spatial Council has gone several steps further along the road. They have developed a framework for sharing based on licenses and metadata, not only within the Government of Victoria, but also among utilities, telecommunications firms, National Government, other government, quasi-government, and non-government organizations. The program is based on the 2008 Victorian Spatial Information Strategy, and incorporates the concept of custodianship. They are encouraging organizations with data to share to participate in the program as data custodians. This is a voluntary program, not mandated by legislation. There appears to be a lot interest in the program within the Government of Victoria and also among utilities in the State. It appears to provide a relatively simple, practical solution for a legal framework for data sharing that it would be worthwhile for federal, state, provincial and local governments around the world to take a look at. For example, it includes data licensing agreements that become operative at the time of an emergency.